Interview by Christine Thomas for l’Equipe, translated by Tennis Buzz:

I really got to know him in Miami

My role with Andy actually began last summer (late July) in Florida. Prior to Wimbledon, there were few things that came from me. I really got to know him in Miami. Because it is at work that you learn to know people, but also thanks to the time spent off-court. We could finally have little moments to discuss … only this winter (in Miami) we were able to really work on Andy’s tennis, with a training program designed by the physical trainer and I.

After the Masters, I called him several times

Andy overcame some hurdles since the start of our work together, but also since his back surgery (in September 2013). From a personal point of view, things really started at the Masters (in November). I called him several times after that, I told him what I thought of his game, the important steps he had climbed. I reviewed his game for the first time with him, and we talked together about his game plan. We agreed on everything, which was not a sure thing at the start.

For the first time, I let my instinct talk

I think one way or another, the split with Dani Vallverdu ( at the end of the season, Murray had worked with him since 2010) had to happen. I was not afraid but I was stressed, especially concerning the training program, the content of practice sessions … When we arrived in Miami, for the first time, I felt I was in charge. I’m not a coach in the traditional sense. But anyway, I had to do it. I racked my brain, I took a lot of advice and got inspired by the programming we have with the French Fed Cup team. But ultimately, I have mainly relied on my personal experience. For the first time I let my instinct talk and I soon found out that we were on the same wavelength. I took two weeks off during the holidays and Andy also came back home. Then, I went to Australia on January 3. I haven’t rest since Dani’s departure.

It’s a little sacrifice

It’s true that it’s a little sacrifice to travel, I was tired of travelling. I had thought long and hard before getting involved in this adventure. I had thought: “This is not the lifestyle I want to have anymore but it’s an ambitious project that suits me .. come on, do it!”
From the moment I take the decision, I have to accept what I don’t like, especially travels. But initially I had not planned to do as many weeks (due to the spilt with Vallverdu, who is now Tomas Berdych‘s coach). That’s why I want us to find someone to tournaments with. I can not do everything. Andy will be alone in February, because I’ll take some time off after the Fed Cup’s first round (in Italy next week)! I’ll be with Andy in March for Indian Wells and Miami. But then we gonna have the same problem. We really need to find someone.

I’m feeling more and more confident

During a tournament, my priority is to watch Andy’s next round opponent. Then I watch top seeds he could play further in the tournament, and possible outsiders. I also spend a lot of time watching videos. It’s interesting but that’s a lot of information to digest. It’s not the sexiest part of the job! Dani, he knows the players, I had a lot of catching up to do. But I’m feeling more and more confident. When we talk about opponents with Andy, I see that I’m not off mark! Otherwise, he would not forgive that, and it’s normal. He is demanding, so I have a lot of pressure.

He did not speak only to defend myself

I did not expect at all to what he said on the court. I was really touched, by his words and by his reaction at the end of the match. It is true that it was not easy for me to be at his side, to be scrutinized as I had not been for a while. Our duo was highly criticized. And I think Andy din’t say that only to defend me. It was also for him. It’s been six months since he had to continually justify his choice. He was keen to say, “Hey guys, I know very well what I do … Relax Now”.

I try not to miss one of his looks

I am delighted that he managed to reach a new Grand Slam final because has gone through difficult times. There is also a degree of personal satisfaction. It’s a bit presumptuous to say this but I think so far we prepared the matches well. It will be a big fight against Novak Djokovic. Andy lost each of their last meetings. He’ll have very few opportunities. He has to be enterprising. I have incorporated the fact that once in the box, I can not do anything for him. It’s very different from Fed Cup, where I am on court with the player. When Andy goes on court, I say: “Now you have the keys.” I like that he is independent. In the stands, I always try to slip a word of encouragement, to not miss one of his looks. There are many.

Novak Djokovic, Australian Open 2015
Novak Djokovic’ road to the final

Djokovic dropped his serve only once in his first five matches but was pushed to five sets by defending champion Stan Wawrinka in the semies.
If he wins on Sunday he will be the first male player to capture 5 Australian Open titles (one more than Andre Agassi and Roger Federer).

Round Opponent Score
R1 Aljaz Bedene 6-3 6-2 6-4
R2 Andrey Kuznetsov 6-0 6-1 6-4
R3 Fernando Verdasco 7-6 6-3 6-4
R4 Gilles Muller 6-4 7-5 7-5
QF Milos Raonic 7-6 6-4 6-2
SF Stan Wawrinka 7-6 3-6 6-4 4-6 6-0
Andy Murray’s road to the final

Andy Murray - smiling

Serious things started in the fourth round when he faced Grigor Dimitrov. Murray defeated Dimitrov, Aussie sensation Nick Kyrgios and Tomas Berdych to reach his fourth final in Melbourne, his 8th Grand Slam final overall.

Round Opponent Score
R1 Yuki Bhambri 6-3 6-4 7-6
R2 Marinko Matosevic 6-1 6-3 6-2
R3 Joao Sousa 6-1 6-1 7-5
R4 Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 6-7 6-3 7-5
QF Nick Kyrgios 6-3 7-6 6-3
SF Tomas Berdych 6-7 6-0 6-3 7-5

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Rod Laver Arena

Andy Murray defeats Tomas Berdych 6-7 6-0 6-3 7-5

Lots of tension between the two players at the start of the match. Berdych wins the first set after 1h16 of play and then completely falls apart. Murray wins in four sets and reaches his fourth Australian Open final.

Brian had the chance to attend both semifinals. Relive the matches through his tweets:

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Australian Open 2015

Thanks to Brian, enjoy some pictures of Djokovic, Kyrgios, Federer and more at the Australian Open:

Andreas Seppi:

Andreas Seppi

Andreas Seppi

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A sneak peek at Novak Djokovic‘s outfit for this year’s Australian Open:

Novak Djokovic Australian Open outfit

The outfit will be available online and at selected stores, stay tuned for more details.

Update: Novak’s outfit is now available online!

Australian Open 2015
Preview, recap and analysis:
A trip down memory lane:

Australian Open trivia
The tragedy of Daphne Akhurst
The Norman Brookes Challenge Cup
1960 Australian Open: Neale Feaser, a costly volley
1960: first Grand Slam title for Rod Laver
1960-63 Australian Open: Jan Lehane four time runner-up
1974 Australian Open: Jimmy Connors first Grand Slam title
1975: John Newcombe defeats Jimmy Connors
1981: First Australian Open title for Martina Navratilova
1983: Mats Wilander defeats Ivan Lendl
1984: Mats Wilander defeats Kevin Curren
1987-1988 Swedes spoil the party
1987: Stefan Edberg defeats Pat Cash
January 11, 1988: first day of play at Flinders Park
1988: Mats Wilander defeats Pat Cash
1990: John McEnroe disqualified!
1990: Ivan Lendl’s last Grand Slam title
1991: Monica Seles first Australian Open title
1994: First Australian Open title for Pete Sampras
1995: Mary Pierce defeats Arantxa Sanchez Vicario
1995 QF: Pete Sampras emotional comeback win over Jim Courier
1995: Andre Agassi defeats Pete Sampras, wins first Australian Open title
1996 Australian Open: Mark Philippoussis defeats Pete Sampras in the 3rd round
Impressions from the 1996 Australian Open: Monica Seles and Boris Becker last Grand Slam titles, Stefan Edberg last appearance in Australia
1997 Australian Open: Pete Sampras defeats Carlos Moya
2001 Australian Open: Pat’s last chance
2001 Australian Open final: Andre Agassi defeats Arnaud Clément
2002: Capriati scripts a stunning sequel in Australia
2003 Australian Open: last Grand Slam title for Agassi
2005 Australian Open: Heartbreak for Lleyton Hewitt
2009 Australian Open: Rafael Nadal defeats Roger Federer

Fashion and gear:

Ana Ivanovic adidas dress
Tomas Berdych H&M outfit
Kei Nishikori Uniqlo outfit
Novak Djokovic Uniqlo outfit
Serena Williams Nike outfit
Maria Sharapova Nike dress
Rafael Nadal Nike outfit
Roger Federer Nike outfit
Grigor Dimitrov Nike outfit
Nick Kyrgios Nike outfit
Vika Azarenka Nike outfit
Venus Williams dress

Polls:

Who will win the 2015 Australian Open?

  • Novak Djokovic (34%, 58 Votes)
  • Roger Federer (32%, 56 Votes)
  • Rafael Nadal (14%, 24 Votes)
  • Andy Murray (6%, 11 Votes)
  • Kei Nishikori (3%, 6 Votes)
  • Tomas Berdych (3%, 5 Votes)
  • Other (3%, 5 Votes)
  • Stan Wawrinka (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Milos Raonic (2%, 4 Votes)
  • Marin Cilic (0%, 0 Votes)
  • David Ferrer (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 173

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Who will win the 2015 Australian Open?

  • Serena Williams (29%, 30 Votes)
  • Maria Sharapova (26%, 27 Votes)
  • Simona Halep (13%, 13 Votes)
  • Eugenie Bouchard (10%, 10 Votes)
  • Ana Ivanovic (7%, 7 Votes)
  • Caroline Wozniacki (6%, 6 Votes)
  • Other (5%, 5 Votes)
  • Petra Kvitova (5%, 5 Votes)
  • Dominika Cibulkova (1%, 1 Votes)
  • Angelique Kerber (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Agnieszka Radwanska (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 104

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